I've been a fan of the Niven/Pournelle team forever. But apparently even the best have their bad turns, and The Gripping Hand is theirs. It's probably okay if you're still under the thrall of The Mote, so you don't notice how bad this one is. Otherwise though, this book does NOT stand alone as anything worth reading. Sorry, but that's just how it is.
The story is a bit slow and seems especially drawn out at the end. The characters are not particularly well developed except for the main 2 or 3. Several of the situations that caused major plot events seemed implausible. If you liked, The Mote in God's Eye, this one falls well short of the mark set by the classic.
I generally enjoy Niven/Pournelle books (Niven more so) ... but this one was rather uninspired. Nothing new was introduced, the characters weren't so interesting, there was no internal conflicts ... just recycled stuff to get the page count up so they could get paid.
I am an avid lover of books and stories. Audible has provided a great outlet for me to read when otherwise I couldn't. I love dogs.
The logic flowed
Yes. Who would not
The Moties were well done.
No, simply enjoyable.
No, it met my expectations.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This has long been my favorite Niven and Pournelle novel. It launches so seamlessly from the first book that surely the story must have been in the minds of N&P all along. This is where the story of the Moties truly begins. Their predicament is explored fully and the solution seems at once surprising and inevitable.
.Again L.J. Ganser does fine work in telling the story. To my ear he does an especially fine job at portraying the female voices.
IF YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO THE MOTE IN GOD'S EYE FIRST, DON'T GET THE GRIPPING HAND!! YOU WILL BE THOROUGHLY LOST!!
I had some credits to burn and so decided I wanted to listen to one of the classic series from science fiction. With that in mind, I turned to the Mote in God's Eye and then The Gripping Hand.
After listening to the fantastic words and performance of Mote, I wondered how they could top it off in The Gripping Hand.
While being a good effort, it wasn't quite up to the same level as Mote; though still enjoyable.
First off, the first three hours, or so, seemed to drag on forever. And they have very little, if anything, to do with the rest of the book. Were they tacked on for a higher page count? I don't know. All I know is that I kept waiting for a big tie-in, and it took forever before it finally happened.
The ending was abrupt. I would have rather they lopped some of the beginning off and added a Chapter 29 before the Epilogue. The Epilogue all of a sudden appears and ties the end up. However, it left me scratching me head a little.
Once again, LJ Ganser gave a stellar performance. While I haven't listened to a ton of audiobooks, I think I can say he's my favorite reader so far. His ability to switch accents when switching characters at the drop of a hat is uncanny. He even is able to change his delivery of female characters, though it's not as obvious in The Gripping Hand than it was in Mote. Additionally, it's not over the top, like some readers try.
I'm just disappointed it ended. The third book in the trilogy, written by Pournelle's daughter, takes place on the rim of the empire, and its description leads me to believe has very little to do with the Moties, just as King David's Spaceship didn't either.
Hopefully, we'll get another one from Pournelle and Niven, though they're hard at work on the sequel to Lucifer's Comet right now.
I'm the most boring person on the planet.
Yes. It would be nice to have a story to finish this one.
Story was unsatisfying. I enjoy the Mote universe, but this was nothing near as good as the first book. This was mostly a story of narration, the characters monologging about what was happening instead of actual events occurring. Ending was unsatisfying, little plot, and almost no intrigue.
I did enjoy Ganser's reading, however; this was my first book with this narrator and I look forward to hearing him again.
A follow on to The Mote in God's Eye. The Mote was a great book. This book, I presume, was meant to draw readers of the Mote. Uf you are interested in monet power empire and space shoot 'em ups, this book is for you. Better yet, read The Fall of the Roman Empire. Fewer scientific errors. No compelling characters here, just interspecies politics and fantasy ship to ship space battles.
Simply put, if you read and like The Mote in God's Eye, you'll want to read this. If you haven't read Mote in God's Eye, you need to read that first. This is a fair follow-on to the original story, not as original (it would be difficult to be), but a good what-would-come-next type of story.
My only. Complaint. Is that the writing style... is more fragmented, than that of Mote. Clearly one author had a larger part in the first book, and the other this one. I preferred the style of Mote, as this one had a lot of choppy scenes and sentence, enough to become mildly distracting. But the quality of the story is excellent enough and does more than compensate for that weakness.
Narrator seriously needs to work on emphasis in the phrasing of sentences. Quite obvious mistakes and they change the meaning of the script. Needs to read for understanding of the dialog.
Great story, narrator has decent character definition. Wish he understood what was being read.